Anarchists in the Gulag (and prison and exile)

Bolshevik repression of anarchists after 1917

The tragedy of Karaganda (Wayne Foster)

The Libcom library has posted a newly written article (by Wayne Foster) on “The tragedy of Karaganda : Members of the CNT and other Spanish anti-fascists in the Soviet Union, 1938-1956.”

Abstract [from libcom]: In March 1939, Republican soldiers who had been training as aviation pilots were stranded in the USSR along with the sailors of several vessels from the Spanish merchant navy. They were prevented from leaving and in 1941 were arrested and sent to Novosibirsk Transit Prison. Also detained were several civilians who had been working with children evacuated from the Civil War. In 1942 the three groups were brought together in an agricultural labour camp in Kazakhstan, where eight Spaniards fathered children with Austrian prisoners. They remained there until 1948 when, partly due to a vigorous solidarity campaign fought by exiled Spanish anarchists on their behalf, they were transferred to a camp near Odessa. 18 prisoners signed documents accepting Soviet citizenship and were released to work in the region around the Black Sea. The rest remained in the Gulag system until 1954 or 1956. Towards the end of their imprisonment they were held with Spanish fascists who had been captured during WWII while fighting in the Blue Division. In addition to those Spanish anti-fascists who went missing or died in the first years of detention, out of 66 anti-fascists known to have been in Kazakhstan on the 1st January 1943, 11 died in Soviet camps. That the majority survived can be attributed in part to the togetherness and solidarity they maintained in captivity, evident in their work stoppages and hunger strikes.

Full article at

Written by gulaganarchists

19, August 2008 at 6:48 pm

Posted in Sources / Links

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